JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Meaning of Marat on a tombstone #general

Judith Romney Wegner

At 7:46 PM -0500 11/9/06, Fran Segall wrote:
Is it possible (likely) to have the word "marat" on the gravestone of a
woman who was widowed for many years before she died? Does "marat" only
refer to a currently married woman, or is it used for a woman who has
been (but is no longer) married?

The same woman's death certificate >from 1925 says "married". Is it
possible that *that* could be incorrect as well? I've been certain for
many years that this was my great-grandmother. But now I'm having a
"crisis of faith" and wondering just how much of my tree I may have
"invented" instead of "discovered"!

Marat is basically a polite title equivalent to "Mrs." (just as
"Mar" means Mr. -- though gravestones normally would use "R." -- an
abbreviation for "Reb" -- when referring to a man) As in other
languages, a widow can continue to be called "Mrs. Cohen" or "Mrs.
Smith" or whatever. It's really more of a polite title than a
signifier of marital status.

In general, tombstones refer to deceased women by their Hebrew names
as "X bat Y." Wives who predecease their husbands are, in
addition, sometimes described as "eshet" (wife of) so and so."
However, I don't have the impression that the tombstones of widows
routinely refer to them by the term "almanah." Perhaps someone can
tell us more about this?

Judith Romney Wegner

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